Kashmir dispute settlement ‘indispensable’ for South Asian peace: OIC

The Nation  |  Sep 24, 2021

NEW YORK - The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir, which held a meeting in New York Thursday, reaffirmed its support to their “just” struggle for the exercise of their right to self-determination, while emphasising that settlement of the Kashmir dispute under UN Security Council resolutions was “indispensable” for durable peace and stability in South Asia.

The meeting, in which Foreign Ministers of Pakistan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan as well as a senior Niger diplomat took part, was presided over by OIC Secretary-General Dr. Yousef Al-Othaimeen.

At the outset, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi apprised members of the Contact Group about the grave situation in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJ&K), saying that New Delhi’s prolonged siege of the disputed territory had exacerbated the already dire humanitarian conditions for the people.

Stronger EU means stronger NATO: Top EU diplomat A joint communiqué issued after the meeting underscored that Jammu and Kashmir is an internationally recognised dispute that has been and continues to be on the agenda of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) since 1948 and reaffirmed by the relevant UNSC resolutions granting the Kashmiri people their inalienable right to self-determination.

Oppressed Kashmiris now more than ever count on Muslim Ummah: FM

It calls for reversing all illegal and unilateral measures taken on or after 5 August 2019, stop the gross, systematic and widespread human rights abuses in the IIOJK, halt and reverse the illegal demographic changes in the occupied territory, allow unrestricted access to UN Special procedures, international media and independent observers to visit IIOJK, and take concrete and meaningful steps for the full implementation of UNSC resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir. The Communiqué also calls for conducting an independent investigation against well-documented cases of human rights violations including extra-judicial killings, sexual violence by the Indian occupation forces in the IIOJK.

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Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said Thursday that the dream of peace in South Asia cannot be prevailed unless the Kashmir issue is resolved fairly in accordance with the aspirations of the UN Security Council and Kashmiris.

Addressing the meeting OIC Contact Group in New York, he said Pakistan is ready to engage with India in resolving Kashmir dispute but for that India has to create conducive environment.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi said Hindutva and RSS-minded BJP government of India seeks to change the demographics in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) to change the special status of Kashmiris. He said Indian government has issued 4.3 million fake domiciles to change the demographic structure of IIOJ&K.

The Foreign Minister said the latest example of Indian barbarism is the worst treatment of the late Kashmiri leader Syed Ali Gilani, who died on 1st of this month during a long period of Indian detention.

FM discusses situation in Afghanistan with Saudi, Turkish counterparts He said to draw the attention of the international community to the grave human rights violations in IIOJ&K, Pakistan has launched a dossier based on solid evidence. He requested the Secretary General OIC to distribute the copies of this dossier among all members of OIUC.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, with Palestine, is one of the two longest standing items on the UN and OIC agenda. He said Pakistan greatly appreciates the OIC’s continued and unequivocal support on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.

The Foreign Minister said that the OIC’s Contact Group has made invaluable contribution in galvanizing global attention to the worsening situation in IIOJK. He said in view of the grave situation, it is imperative that the OIC enhances its efforts to facilitate a lasting solution to the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.

He said the oppressed people of Kashmir, now more than ever, count on OIC and the Muslim Ummah.

Pakistan elected as member of Board of Governors of IAEA Pakistan Thursday called on the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to step up its efforts to facilitate a lasting solution to the Kashmir dispute as the situation in the disputed territory has taken a turn for the worse.  “The oppressed people of Kashmir, now more than ever, count on OIC and the Muslim Ummah,” Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told the 57-member organization’s Contact Group meeting presided over by OIC Secretary-General Dr. Yousef Al-Othaimeen.

 

 “There will be no peace in South Asia until the just and equitable resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the resolutions of the Security Council and wishes of the Kashmiri people,” he added.

Attending the meeting were Turkish Foreign Minister Turkish Mevlut Cavusoglu, Azerbaijan FM Jeyhun Bayramov, Saudi FM Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud and Niger’s senior diplomat Aoughui Naiandou.

British PM Boris 'angry' with ECB after Pakistan tour abandoned Shehryar Khan Afridi, chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir, was also present as an observer, at the Contact Group’s meeting held on the sidelines of the 76th session of UN General Assembly.

In his remarks, Foreign Minister Qureshi said that over 8 million Kashmiris continued to face lockdown, military siege, communications blockade, arbitrary detentions, and unprecedented restrictions since August 5, 2019.  “Operating under draconian laws with complete impunity, Indian occupation forces are committing unspeakable atrocities to silence the voice of the Kashmiris and break their will to resist the occupation,” he said. “Under a suffocating military siege and in the face of ravaging COVID-19 pandemic, the Indian army has continued cordon-and-search operations, put down protests violently, continued the use of pellet-guns and torture, imprisoned Kashmiri political leaders, abducted children and women, staged fake ‘encounters’, and indulged in a killing spree of Kashmiri youth in Illegally Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK)”  he added.

Following the extremist “Hindutva” ideology, FM Qureshi said the RSS-BJP regime had also embarked on a design to change the demographic structure of the occupied territory and obliterate the distinct identity of the Kashmiri people.

To further its plans, over 4.2 million fake domicile certificates have already been issued, he said, pointing out  that this is what the Indian leadership itself calls a ‘Final Solution’ for the Jammu and Kashmir.

“The most recent example of Indian barbarity was the treatment of mortal remains of the great Kashmiri leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani,” who passed away earlier this month after prolonged illegal Indian detention and house arrest.

Despite his advancing age and failing health, he was not allowed to seek medical treatment abroad, he said, adding that as his family mourned his loss, and prepared for his funeral, a heavy contingent of India’s occupation forces entered their home, and over the protests of family members, forcibly snatched Syed Geelani’s body, denied him the last rites of a Muslim funeral and buried him in a non-descript place rather than the ‘Cemetery of Martyrs’ as desired by him before his death.  “If that was not enough, Geelani’s family members were later charged for draping his body in the Pakistani flag – as he had wished,” the foreign minister said.

 “The Government of India was so afraid of Syed Geelani and what he stood for (right of self-determination for Kashmiris) that they resorted to this inhumane act even after his passing away.”

 On India’s continuing abuses, the foreign minister said, the Government of Pakistan has recently released a comprehensive and well-researched Dossier containing the entire range of gross, systematic, and widespread violations of human rights perpetrated by Indian forces in the IIOJK.

 

 Last February, he said Pakistan accepted revival of the 2003 ceasefire understanding along the Line of Control (LOC) in Jammu and Kashmir, hoping that India would take positive steps to enable the resumption of a dialogue for resolution of the dispute, but instead New Delhi intensified its repression.

Pakistan, FM Qureshi said, was prepared to resume a dialogue with India for a resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, while stressing that the onus was on it  to create a conducive environment for such a dialogue. India, he said, must reverse its unilateral and illegal measures instituted since 05 August 2019;

halt its human rights violations in IIOJK, and, halt and reverse the demographic changes in the occupied State.

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